Is yeast important just for fermenting or is there more to it than that?
Every homebrewer knows about the basic ingredients necessary to brew beer. Water, malted barley, yeast, and hops are all essential to the brewing process and among them, the one that tends to get the least respect is yeast. However, yeast education is important to brewing beer and yeast can have a marked impact on the flavor and quality of the finished product. It also happens to be the subject of this book, Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation, a brewing supplement by Jamil Zainasheff.
This guide, like its name suggests, is a practical volume to all things yeasty. The book covers the different strains of yeast and how they affect the taste and character of beer. The book offers some tips to the homebrewer, advising which yeast is best for a particular style and which one to try if the goal is a new drinking experience. The book wants you, the brewer, to better understand the importance of yeast and how a small change can greatly affect the fermented brew. It wants brewers to realize that yeast is more than simply an agent of fermentation- it stamps its own unique personality on the wort it touches.
Yeast can be a technical subject and the chemistry and biology of yeast cells is a study in and of itself. However, Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation avoids the tech talk and sticks with the information that brewers want and need. The first part of the book provides some background info and will likely be too elementary for the experienced brewer. The second part of the book delves into brewing techniques and processes and it is here that most readers will spend the bulk of their time.
300 pages in length and published in 2010 Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation is a useful book about the topic of yeast and its importance to brewing the perfect beer. Some might wish it was a little more technical, but the majority of commercial and homebrewers will find it is just fine exactly the way it is.
Rating: 7 Cheers out of 10